Re: 'Why Not?'
These points cannot be stressed enough. It's very tough for young students to see the forest for the trees, and especially with such a limited perspective of what having a career is like and why it's important, many of them might be reluctant to volunteer for the extra workload that comes along with STEM courses and programs. Why would they if nobody has shown them the benefit and the satisfaction of it? Because young girls are more likely to be discouraged or criticized, and because they may lack role models, the risk is that much greater. It only takes one bad day to drop out of a program and never look back.
The bit about being able to pursue dancing alongside programming struck me as very valuable. Life is not about just doing one thing. You're not either 'this' or 'that'. The reason you want a strong and fulfilling career is to round out your life and give you room to pursue everything you want out of the world. We should be reminding students of that a lot more often. Many of us still struggle with that at all ages (think of all the unused gym memberships!) - but it's because we're imperfect role models that we'll be relatable. That's what these kids need.